Epiphany is Christian holiday which takes place on January 19th every year. On this long-awaited day, all over Serbia, thousands of people gather around frozen rivers and lakes to swim for a holy cross. Naked, wearing just swimming suits, they swim because they believe that it will bring them prosperity and luck in the coming year. In churches across the country, priests bless the water. After that, according to belief, water is curative. Throughout this reportage, the photographer is trying to figure out how believers understand this holiday and reveal ways in which people identify themselves with religion in the 21st century. Photos asking questions about a connection between religious and national affiliation and necessary interlacing between this two. Can this vivid tattoos on the swimmer’s bodies, facial expressions or various religious relics, give us the answers ?!
Aleksandar Slavkovic is an independent documentary photographer from Mladenovac, a small town near Belgrade. He was born in 1993 in Prizren. About three years ago, he started photographing a daily life around him, observing human behavior and investigate very sensitive human nature. His photographs, which strive to mild controversy, are the product of his thinking about topics such as humanity, nature, religion, faith, and necessary interlacing between them.